NBC’s other big changes are coming “Saturday Night Live.”
As the long-running sketch comedy series enters its 48th season, USA TODAY has learned that Chris Redd will be leaving the series in addition to previously announced cast departures Alex MofatMelissa Villasenor and Aristotle Athari.
Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney confirmed their departure during the season 47 finale in May.
Newcomers this season include comedians Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.
Redd, who spent five seasons on “SNL,” has an HBO Max comedy special “Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This?” coming later this year and is currently set to star in the upcoming Universal feature, “Cyber Monday.” .
“Being a part of ‘SNL’ has been the experience of a lifetime,” Redd said in a statement. “Five years ago I joined 30 Rock knowing it was an amazing opportunity for growth. Now, with friends that have become family and memories that I will forever cherish, I am grateful to Lorne Michaels and the entire SNL organization. From the bottom of my heart I can’t thank you all enough.”
Moffat joined “SNL” in 2016 as a lead man before being promoted to a lead man in 2018. The Chicago native became known for his gambling Eric Trump and a “Guy Who Just Bought a Boat” on weekend update. He will next be seen in the Apple TV+ comedy Bad Monkey, starring Vince Vaughn and Michelle Monaghan.
Also promoted to regular in 2018 after two years on the show, Villaseñor has memorably impersonated celebrities like Lady Gaga and Dolly Parton. Outside of SNL, she has worked extensively in animation, voicing characters on Toy Story 4, Netflix’s Q-Force, and Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time.
Athari’s departure comes after just one season: He joined the cast last fall as a lead, along with Sarah Sherman and James Austin Johnson, but has struggled to get screen time and launch signature characters, save for “international singing sensation” Angelo.
It’s believed to be the biggest cast change since 1985, after Michaels returned to the show after a five-year absence when almost the entire cast was replaced, including Billy Crystal and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
“SNL” has struggled to gain traction in recent years, with fewer political sketches after Donald Trump left the White House and facing COVID-related roadblocks. Fan favorites such as Bryant, Davidson and Cecily Strong have also stayed away from the show for lengthy periods while filming other projects. Strong will also be absent at least at the start of the coming season.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘SNL’: Chris Redd, Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat, no more returning